EU to push Germany to relax gambling laws
The EU is demanding more rights for private gaming and betting companies in Germany, news magazine Focus has reported.
EU Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy is looking to step up action against a German law on gambling that came into effect on January 1, 2008. The law bans online gambling, with the exception of wagers on horseracing, and restricts other forms of gambling to state-run operators.
McCreevy has taken exception to the restrictions on private operators of Web-based lotteries and sports betting, which industry insiders say are endangering thousands of jobs in Germany.
McCreevy has been pushing for an alternative model under which Germany's states would basically be able to keep their monopoly on the lottery business, but still have to approve individual licenses for private operators, Focus reported.
“I welcome this suggestion,” the head of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU) delegation in the European Parliament, Markus Ferber, told the magazine. “It allows for the interests of both the state and private industry.”